Engagement sessions are one of my favorite things to shoot. I can take my time and get creative. And it’s also an awesome opportunity for the couple to let their personality and style shine through. And I LOVE exploring with them their favorite spots in and around St. Louis. (Check out my engagement portfolio here.)
For engagement photos, I always go for a fresh, timeless look. And I want to make it simple and fun for you!
So, on your part, there’s not really a whole lot of preparation involved. Nevertheless, here are a few quick tips to help you ROCK your engagement session:
Engagement Photo Tips for HER:
Only the first two tips are specific to girls. Guys, please follow tips 3 through 12 as well.
1. Wear natural makeup.
Or not at all if that’s your style.
2. Get your hair and nails done if you feel like it.
This is optional, but recommended–especially if the hair stylist or make-up artist you’ve booked for you wedding is willing to do a trial run. Feel free to ask me for recommendations.
3. Go dressy and casual, or simply layer up.
Figuring out what to wear is always the tricky part. This and the next four tips are designed to make it easier for you.
Try to pick out 2 outfits. One a little bit dressier, like something you’d wear to a cocktail party. And, for the other outfit, what you normally wear will do. A good (and probably hard) question to ask yourself is: Would I like what I wear 20 years from now?
If you can’t decide, or think this is too much work, or are worried about where to change, simply layer up. This works the best in cooler weather.
4. Dress comfortably.
Whatever outfits you pick, make sure it’s something you feel comfortable in. It doesn’t have to be fancy.
Get some new outfits if you want–what better excuse can you get than this?
5. Wear solid, earthy colors.
Tips 5 and 6 are meant to make your photos look fresh and timeless. Loud, crazy colors, strange patterns, and big logos can date a photo real fast. Try to avoid them if you can.
6. Avoid crazy patterns and big logos.
7. Accessories optional.
8. Bring your engagement ring.
Let’s show off the ring s/he put on your finger!
And PROPS if that’s your thing.
Styled shoots are even better. Spam me with theme ideas!!!
Definitely bring your pets.
The last few tips are mainly to help you prepare for your engagement session mentally. If you feel stiff or stressed, it will show. I’ll pull all my little tricks to help you relax. All you need to do is try not to think too much of it and, instead, see this as a date, as you spending some time with the person you love more than anything else in the world.
10. Just be yourself.
Be goofy. Be awkward. Be offbeat. Be whatever you are as a couple. I’m not the person who’d be judging you.
11. Enjoy each other’s company.
Forget about the camera. Forget about me.
12. Be ready for fun and adventures!
We might go to places you’ve never been before. We might try new things together. But adventures are part of the fun. Be ready for them!
Engagement Photo Tips for HIM:
The following two tips are pretty much the only ones that are specific to guys. The rest are the same as the last 7 tips for her. (Scroll back up for more.)
1. Get a haircut at least 3 days in advance if you need one.
If you need a haircut, get one at least 3 days before the photo shoot. This way, your hair will have a chance to grow out a bit and look more natural.
The same is true for your beard.
2. Shave the night before (she likes stubble according to science!).
Shave the night before if you need to.
(Try to avoid a clean shave if you can help it. Of course, if that’s how you like it, by all means.)
Or better yet, do it several nights before if you want to grow a stubble. And she’ll love it–at least how it looks. (Science says so!)
Or feel free to grow a full beard if that’s how you prefer to look.
Infographic: How to rock your engagement session for a fresh, timeless look
The infographic below is a quick recap of what we’ve just covered above:
As you can tell, pretty much all the tips are merely suggestions from a photographer’s point of view. They are not rules. So take all of them with a grain of salt.
At the end of the day, there’s really only ONE rule:
If it doesn’t feel like you to do something, then don’t.
Need inspirations? Check out some of my favorite engagement sessions below:
- Editorial Engagement Shoot in Central West End
- St. Charles Riverfront Engagement
- Super Fun Engagement Shoot at Rocky Butte (Portland, OR)
- Lafayette Park Engagement Session